Note: The 2017 football season is fast approaching. Over 25 days, Husker Extra is taking a look at the top 25 opposing players Nebraska will see on the gridiron this fall. Today, a menacing D-tackle checks in.
No. 23: Steven Richardson
Minnesota defensive tackle
* Senior, 5-11, 300 pounds
Last year vs. Nebraska: Had three tackles and a quarterback hurry in the Huskers' 24-17 win in Lincoln.
Last season's totals: 31 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and seven sacks; All-Big Ten third team.
Preseason buzz: Was named to the Bednarik Award watch list.
Why he could give Nebraska fits: Richardson has quietly become one of the top defensive tackles in the Big Ten. A handful for opposing offensive lines, Richardson consistently drew double-teams last year, yet led the Gophers in tackles for loss. With Richardson as the anchor, Minnesota held its 2016 opponents to 3.4 yards per rush, which ranked second in the Big Ten.
He also plays with a chip on his shoulder. Richardson, a Chicago native, once claimed he wasn't recruited by Northwestern because he was too small. Last fall against the Wildcats, Richardson finished with two sacks, forced a fumble, recovered another and then released this tweet: "Hey @Northwestern am I still (too) short to play Big Ten football?"
He's big, and he's funny.
He'll see the Huskers: Nov. 11 (Minneapolis).